How to Prioritize Your Time & Your Life

This post is a little bit about how to prioritize your time and a little bit of me venting…

I am a busy Mom.  I have diapers to change, kids to feed, a large home and yard to keep up. I work part-time. I have food allergies which makes everything a little difficult.  I do home school with my kids.  I am active in the LDS church and local community which require a lot of my time.  I am always in a hurry and I am always stressed from the moment I wake up in the morning to the minute I go to bed (and even in my sleep, I dream about being stressed!).  I am responsible for so many things and sometimes it feels like the world is on my shoulders.  I don’t know how long I can continue like this as something has got to give!  I am pretty sure this is not the way God intended me to feel.  I think he wants me to enjoy life, to learn all I can, and to be happy.   I can’t say I am unhappy, per se, but I do feel that I could improve so many areas in my life.  This is something I recently did a post on being the “perfect” Mom, which I do not believe is attainable or even desirable (at least in the sense that most of us look at it in).  Over the last few years I have really leaned towards living a more simple and meaningful life.  I fail miserable sometimes, but I also make huge strides at other times.  Over time, I inch closer and closer to this goal.

While out on a dinner date with my husband last week I expressed to him that I felt like I was running, running, running all the time trying to keep up with my life and I felt as if I wasn’t really accomplishing anything of value.  He is super laid back, so I didn’t expect him to be able to relate.  He said a lot of times he feels the same way, but he felt like if he was doing the most important things first, it wouldn’t matter so much if he let the little things go.  That conversation prompted me to reevaluate my priorities quite a bit.  Do I really need to do all the things I do?

My Aunt Patricia frequently reminds me that Buddhist wisdom teaches that “who you be” is so much more important than what you do or what you have.  Who you are has value and merit just in itself.  When you work on that, all other thing fall into place somehow.  It’s important for me to hear when I complain about my life being too ‘busy’.  I have to remind myself that I create my busy life and I have the ability to simplify it as well.

Last night, I felt inspired to make a simple priority list for my life.  I really want to give my best effort of each day to accomplishing a little of each priority.  As you notice, each priority does not have a million ‘to do’s’ after it.  Because once it does, it becomes stressful.  In celebration of simplicity, I want to leave my day open to inspiration and interpretation while still achieving my most important life-goals.  For me to feel balanced, I feel like I need to do the following and probably in this order:

  • Relationships
  • Health
  • Spirituality
  • Fun
  • Education

I think some of my LDS friends might wonder why I have not listed spirituality first, as we are told when we put God first, all other things will fall into place.  Well, I think spirituality is so interwoven into my daily life that it actually is first, but in terms of ‘to do’s’ (immersing myself in the scriptures, prayers, service etc) that I can’t really feel very spiritual if the first 2 needs (relationships and health) aren’t met.  Everything else is off in my life if my relationships and/or my health are not functioning.

As you may notice, work or making money did not make the list at all.  I think that while work is a big part of my life and takes up a large part of my time, it is not necessary to living a good or purposeful life (for me anyway).  Work does play into education a bit (as when I am working, I am also learning new techniques and skills).  However, I wish work to be less a part of my life rather than more.

If you would like to see my explanation of each life priority, I will link to it here shortly…

I also would like to do a follow up post to see if I was able to stick to my priorities…  How do you prioritize your time?  We’d love to hear from you in the comments section!

(The photo above is attributed to Quotesnmiles.)

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